“Just the way the smart home has single-purpose devices as opposed to overall intelligent systems, the development of intelligent roads, athletes and any other system made up of multiple components will feature single-purpose sensors for years before we ever get to unified systems– if we ever get to unified systems. This is unfortunate for consumers who will have to wrangle many apps and also because having multiple platforms can slow the pace of innovation, but thankfully sensors are getting cheaper and we can at least fulfill some of the promise of the internet of things while we wait for an eventual standard or service to unify things to arrive.”
“This is a pivotal time for our communications ecosystem. As we cede control to governments and corporations—and as they take it away from us—we are risking a most fundamental liberty, the ability to freely speak and assemble. Let’s not trade our freedom for convenience.”
FridayFunFact2: For the first time, the number of broadband subscribers with the major U.S. cable companies exceeded the number of cable subscribers, the Leichtman Research Group reported today. Among other things, these figures suggest the industry is now misnamed. Evidently these are broadband companies that offer cable on the side.
“Yesterday, the 20,000 customers who use a Lansing Michigan web hosting company called Liquid Web had some big internet problems. The reason: the internet grew too big for the memory chips in the company’s Cisco routers.”
“In a new filing, the company said that “up to approximately 8.5%” of the accounts it considers active are automatically updated “without any discernible additional user-initiated action.”
Included in this group are accounts that automatically request information from Twitter but may not tweet themselves.That would include, for instance, accounts that automatically request data from Twitter to display tweets on screens or mobile apps that aren’t owned by Twitter. These and other automated accounts add up to about 23 million of Twitter’s 271 million monthly active users (MAUs) at the end of June, according to the company.”
“In some situations, a complex password can help you. But in others—like when the company holding your password stores it in plain text, without encrypting it—that complexity is meaningless. And some passwords may seem complex, when they’re actually pretty easy to guess. They can trip you up, even if they’re stored using cryptographic techniques, when someone hacks into the machines that they live on. The lesson here is that system administrators—the people who oversee all those password rules you have to follow—need to shoulder a bit more of the work. They need to better understand what makes a secure password—and how passwords should be stored. “Everyone is confused in this space,” says Cormac Herley, a Microsoft researcher who’s been studying passwords for years. System administrators will lay down rules for passwords but often, “we don’t know half of why we’re doing this stuff.,” says Herley. And they may not realize they should be spending their time securing systems in other ways.”
“Content moderation in the age of anonymous apps is a far trickier game than for social networks of the past. The safety of their communities will make or break Secret, Whisper, and Yik Yak. We’ve seen the likes of other anonymous sites — like Juicy Campus and Formspring.me — felled by vicious cyberbullying. Chatroullete infamously went the same way, although its downfall was naked men instead of mean people. Whisper has been testing, developing, and honing its TaskUs enabled vetting practices for years. Using a full-time team devoted to the job — instead of freelancers sourced through Crowdflower or Mechanical Turk — allows it to take a mass approach to content filtering. Moderators look at Whispers surfaced by both machines and people: Users flag inappropriate posts and algorithms analyze text and images for anything that might have slipped through the cracks. That way, the company is less likely to miss cyberbullying, sex, and suicide messages. Moderators delete the bad stuff, shuffle cyberbullies into a “posts-must-be-approved-before-publishing” category, and stamp suicide Whispers with a “watermark” — the number for the National Suicide Hotline.”